July 30, 2010, Newsletter Issue #171: Collection Letters to the Seriously Late

Tip of the Week

It's difficult to come up with how late is considered “seriously late.” Large companies with steady cash flows tend to be a lot more patient than small business owners or consultants. As a result, larger companies may keep trying to collect using letters and phone calls for several months before charging off the account and handing it over to a debt collection agency or attorney. If you are a small business owner in this case, you need to move more aggressively earlier in the game. Begin by closing the account first.

(Address Element) (Date)

Account #_____________________________

Balance Due: $____________

Dear Mr. John Doe:
Your account is seriously past due, and your failure to contact us leaves us no choice but to close your account, effective immediately. We are willing to work with you, but in order to do so we need to talk with you. Please call out office today. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Creditor Company (or name of business)
(Address)
(Phone)


The previous letter did not include a minimum payment amount because we want the debtor to see the full amount and realize why you closed the account. That you are willing to work with them should encourage them to pick up the phone at least. A letter requesting partial payments is another option you may consider.

(Address Element) (Date)

Account #_____________________________

Balance Due: $____________

Dear Mr. John Doe:
We were recently forced to close your account with us because you have not made any payments since _________, and you have also failed to contact our office. If you are experiencing financial difficulties, we can work out a payment schedule that will enable you to deal with meeting your obligations. In order to do so, we need to know the problems you are facing so that we can work together to resolve them. Please call us today. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Creditor Company (or name of business)
(Address)
(Phone)

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